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Leah: "I Didn't Really Like the Way They Made Me Look"

Leah: "I Didn't Really Like the Way They Made Me Look"

I think it's safe to say that the majority of viewers weren't surprised to see Leah pack up her knives and go on the latest installment of Top Chef. Since restaurant wars and the infamous kiss, it was obvious that her heart wasn't in it to win it. I spoke to Leah yesterday and as is to be expected, she's no longer with her boyfriend. To see what she had to say about Hosea, and her experience,


On the difficulty of the competition: I didn't realize how quickly and on the spot you have to think and come up with ideas. For me, cooking is more a process of trying out things and thinking about it. You can never prepare yourself for the actual game. It was hard being in my hometown. I mean we would go on challenges and be four blocks from my apartment.

I was so close to my bed and my real life, but I couldn't just walk those blocks and go sleep in my bed. It was very hard. Knowing I'm so close to home, but I can't go there or talk to anyone.

On her relationship with Hosea: There's not much to say. We hung out all the time. We kissed on TV, but there was really not much more to it. We are actually just really good friends. He was my support on the show. Everyone paired off into cliques and friendships formed. There were certain people that you would go to and I would go to him. Since we are of the opposite sex, there will be always be an element of flirtation to the relationship. But, no we aren't and weren't romantic.

On Bravo's portrayal of her: It was not good. I kind of stopped watching the show. I didn't really like the way they made me look like this girl who was throwing myself on Hosea. That's not how it went down. That whole portrayal of our relationship — I didn't think it was accurate at all. It was a story line. For the most part I acted like I would in real life. People who know me, know how I am. People who know me through the show, can think what they want. Not everyone is going to like you and not everyone is going to dislike you. I signed up for the show, so I signed up for them to portray me any way they wanted to.

On giving up: Towards the end, I just did not want to be there. I was over it. I was stressed out. Doing each challenge wears you down. It takes a toll on you. I just didn't feel like participating. I regret not giving it 100 percent, but you live and learn that's part of the game. It's designed to wear you down and unfortunately I couldn't handle it.

On the judges: There is very little interaction. The only that we do have is during judges table. I think Gail is awesome. She was really nice and really critiqued you in a positive way. I didn't like Toby Young. He was there to try and bring his English wit and I didn't get. I didn't think he was witty or funny. I respect Tom a lot. He obviously knows a lot about food. Padma is Padma. I don't have anything nice to say, so I'm not going to say anything at all. We had the most interaction with her. As far as caring about us as people, she didn't care. Whereas Tom and Gail looked at us as people, not as contestants. They were there to help us as chefs. Padma didn't invest any time in us, but that's not her job. She is the host. She is there to be pretty.

On who will win: Hosea or Stefan. Ah, Stefan. It's really funny because everyone thinks he is this arrogant asshole, but he has 23 years experience. He has a career. He's a very successful caterer in LA. He knows what he wants. He knows how to get it done. He is really a nice guy.

On her future: I wanted to move to Hong Kong. I wanted to move to Spain, but as far as right now, I am staying in New York at my restaurant. I would like to travel. It's the best way to grow as a chef and as a person, but I will be in New York for at least another year.


Join The Conversation
LemonOut LemonOut 8 years
I cannot stand Leah - she is so inarticulate, whiny, and dumb. It was obvious she was phoning it in for the last few episodes, which makes me dislike her even more. I can't imagine much good can come out of the show for her...Who would see her poor attitude, laziness, and readiness to quit at the first hint of challenge and want to hire her?
doogirl doogirl 8 years
Go Stefan, Carla, and Fabio!!!
sandy82 sandy82 8 years
She was on my favorites in the beginning but her whining and lack of enthusiasm started to bug me after a while. How hard is it to not cheat on your boyfriend in front of cameras? She should have gone home a couple of episodes ago.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well a lot of people say that they didn't know how they were shown on the show and i have to say that if i were her i'd be pretty upset too. she seemed like she didn't know too much about her craft and that she just gave up way too easy. i hope that she finds success one way or another if it's here in NYC or elsewhere in the world.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
"But, no we aren't and weren't romantic." Actually, honey, you may not be now, but you were romantic for at least a few minutes there on the couch. Urgh. And I really want to know if Padma's as much of an ice queen as the contestants are making her out to be.
spacebear spacebear 8 years
yeah a couple of them have talked about padma...i wanna know whats up with that!
Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
@shiningeyes--I agree, I think it's interesting that more than one contestant has gone on the record as not being very pro-Padma. I wonder what their experience was. I'm glad to hear that Tom was a good guy though.
lizzylu49 lizzylu49 8 years
Gawd, she's annoying.
annebreal annebreal 8 years
It seems like a lot of these interviews haven't made Padma look that great, which is interesting. For this interview, it was a lot like her episode interviews - bland, boring, with a Debbie Downer twist. Probably a good chef, but we can't taste their food and she brought the entertainment value down a notch for me.
shiningeyes shiningeyes 8 years
Well, she's definitely not the first Top Chef contestant to badmouth Padma or any of the judges, so there might be something to that. I really love it when the former contestants are honest and let it all out in their interviews! If you do what what you're supposed to do and don't give the show anything to work with, they can't portray you in a bad way. So she's ultimately to blame for that. I still think Jamie should have stayed over Leah, but I'm sure Leah is a really talented chef and will continue to grow in her career and as a person. I wish her well and hope she can do some real travel soon.
shmoo15 shmoo15 8 years
I love that she said she had nothing nice to say about Padma so she wasn't going to say anything, then went on to talk about how she's just there to be pretty. Sorry Leah, even with the editing, TV can't manufacture that kind of negativity and blase personality. She should have gone ages ago. And Jamie was 8,000 times better than she was. I hope either Carla or Fabio wins.
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
Yeah. I'm still not impressed with her professionalism. She had a bad attitude on the show and a bad attitude in the interview. Hope Carla wins!
bonniebonnie bonniebonnie 8 years
Interesting insight into the show. Go Stefan!
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I didn't really get "girl who was throwing (herself) on Hosea", but I definitely got uninspired, lazy, and apathetic toward other people's feelings. She should be glad they wanted to use the storyline of her and Hosea's relationship, otherwise she would have been sent home a long time ago. And her comment about Padma was pretty rude. First of all, it's ridiculous to say "I don't have anything nice to say, so I'm not going to say anything at all." It defeats the purpose. And then she went ahead and insulted her anyway. Not terribly professional. See if she gets invited back for a Top Chef challenge...
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
oh BOO HOO Leah, they can't manufacture the way you act, they edit it to make it interesting -- everything we saw on the show is who you are, including you quitting and not being a team player. good riddance. GO CARLA
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
"Padma is Padma. I don't have anything nice to say, so I'm not going to say anything at all." Meow... I actually really liked Leah at the beginning of the show. And while my enthusiasm waned over the season, I still thought she had the skills to be there. I didn't care about the drama, I don't care about sleaze, I want the food to be good and I want the chef to stand behind the dish. Jeff did with his ceviche and I respect him for that. Leah quit, and quitting is lame. I liked her a lot more before reading this.
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